VINEYARDS Grown on the western edge of the Paso Robles AVA, these grapes experience a unique microclimate of very warm days countered by cool nights and mornings courtesy of the marine influence that penetrates through the Templeton Gap. Temperature fluctuations of as much as 50° F in a single day stress the grapes to produce concentrated, bold aromas and flavors.
VINTAGE NOTES The culmination of factors from another drought year in California surprised us with another wonderful vintage. An unseasonably dry and warm winter, which led to an early spring, forced the vines into bud break during peak frost season. However, the spring weather stayed mild during fruit set and led into a relatively warm summer which hastened ripening to unprecedented early harvest dates. Although the crop, overall, was lighter (and much, much earlier), than we've seen in several years, the outstanding quality of the fruit and resulting wines cannot be understated.
WINEMAKING Picked overnight into ½ ton bins to avoid the heat of the day, and delivered to us in the early morning hours, the grapes are destemmed to stainless steel fermenters. Pumpovers are performed three times daily with a gentle overhead sprinkler that slowly percolates the juice through the cap to avoid over-extracting the intense tannins. After finishing primary fermentation, the wine is allowed to sit on the skins for up to 10 days to broaden and soften the mouthfeel, before being pressed to 50% new French and American oak to age for 14 months.
TASTING Another great ambassador of the Paso Robles diverse and increasingly respected region, this wine opens with aromas of ripened blackberries, maraschino cherries, and jammy blueberry notes, while the palate balances out with hints of fresh coffee beans, and a dark caramel finish. Invitingly fruit-forward with a medium body that is well structured with unobtrusive tannins.